I haven’t yet gotten my grubby little hands on a copy of Better Living Through Criticism by A.O. Scott, but it’s on the To Be Read List. If I stay healthy and live another ten years, I’ll get around to it in 2026.
Actually, it may be smart to move this book to the top of the list. Nathan Heller’s review in the March 7, 2016 New Yorker suggests it’s worth special attention.
A. O. Scott is a longtime film critic with The New York Times. His reviews tend to be based on careful thinking and observation, which place him above the mediocre types who express outrage when existential characters aren’t ethical enough. With very few exceptions, art must be approached from a nonjudgmental standpoint if we’re going to appreciate fine work. Here’s a link to Nathan Heller’s review: